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Archive | February, 2007

The Swedish Welfare State: A Model for Canadian Labor?

When I ask Canadian trade unionists and activists fighting against lower labor and social standards about their political vision, they often refer to European welfare states, notably Sweden.  The Swedish social system, their reference implies, proves that there is an alternative to the neo-liberal politics of boosting profits at the expense of working people.  It […]

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All Roads Lead to Checkpoints

All roads may have once led to Rome, but, for the Palestinian people, all roads lead to checkpoints.  The latest checkpoint to block the Palestinians is not manned by Israel but the ostensible mediator of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Quartet (which is composed of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United […]

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Rick Wolff

Reversing the American Dream

Perhaps the fastest growing new “wealth-management” tool in the US is the reverse mortgage.  The Federal Housing Administration insured 76,351 such mortgages in 2006 compared with 43,131 in 2005.  Industry officials expect around 120,000 reverse mortgages to be signed in 2007.  In 1990, only 150 reverse mortgages were arranged.  Traditional mortgages were the crucial means […]

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Kazunari Ninomiya as Saigo

Reflections on Letters from Iwo Jima

  War is dehumanizing.  By its very nature, it forces a coarse division between us and the other.  All the lofty ideals — be they revolutionary or reactionary — cannot change this.  Clint Eastwood‘s new movie Letters from Iwo Jima is a sobering and deeply humanist perspective on the horrors of war.  Relying on a […]

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Total UAW Membership

Reinventing the Wheel: The Future for the UAW

The latest news from the Big Three (Chrysler, Ford, and GM) automakers is bad.  As of Valentine’s Day — how appropriate for North American workers to receive another shot to the heart — the permanent force reduction now exceeds 100,000.  Most of the jobs eliminated are hourly workers, UAW and CAW union members in fact […]

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Where Is the German Trade Union Movement and Where Is It Going?

  Germany is the world’s leading exporter and the third largest industrial economy, following Japan and the United States.  German multi-nationals are drowning in supreme opulence, yet the wages of German workers remain severely depressed.  The Wall Street Journal, engaging in low-intensity class struggle labor journalism, confirmed in its January article “German Unions See Leverage […]

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Help Direct the Rudderless Labor Media

In the 1980s, the right wing began its media blitz and has kept it up since then, but the labor movement has failed to match it or even develop a minimal communications network to reach union and non-union workers with information crucial to their wellbeing.  The movement has no national newspaper or magazine and no […]

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Global Solidarity School

The Global Solidarity School is the initiative of progressive Canadians involved in trade union and academic education.  The school will combine educational programs with Cuban cultural explorations that extend well beyond a typical tourist experience. As a student at the Global Solidarity School, you will meet with international counterparts who care about the wellbeing of […]

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U.S. Imperialism and Arroyo Regime in the Philippines on Trial at the Permanent People’s Tribunal, the Hague

  An interview with Luis Jalandoni, chairperson of the National Democratic Front-Philippines Negotiating Panel, follows E. San Juan, Jr.’s analysis. The February visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples, Prof. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, reconfirmed the barbarism of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s de facto martial-law regime in the Philippines.  Stavenhagen bewailed the worsening pattern of […]

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College Participation and Completion

The Decline of Public Higher Education

Over the last quarter century, Americans got used to the idea of their children going on to colleges and universities.  In the early 1970s, about 8.5 million Americans attended such institutions; by 2004 the number had doubled.  The US population across this time rose by less than 50%.  This spectacular growth in our student population […]

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Larsen B

Is the New UN Global Warming Report Too Conservative?

There is now a strong consensus among climate scientists that human activities are the primary forces responsible for the observed warming of the earth’s atmosphere.  The recently released fourth assessment report, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that warming is “unequivocal” and human […]

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Now (That the Dems Have Taken Back Congress) What?

The November ’06 election presents socialists and progressives in the US with a (thankfully) new situation.  The next couple of years offer many opportunities, questions, and dilemmas . If we squarely face the many complications inherent in the current balance of class forces in America, maybe we can help to keep things moving away from […]

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Picturing Reality

  A Sense of History? “Kahin building, kahin trame, kahin motor, kahin mil; sab milta hai yahan par bas milta nahin dil,”1 croons the late Johnny Walker to Sahir Ludhayanvi‘s immortal lyrics (CID, 1956) while ruing the difficulties one has to face in finding true love in a world of industry, automation, and speed.  In […]

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Martin Murie

Inconvenient Truths

We humans are basically big furless animals who make tremendous demands on energy and materials for staying warm in cold places and cool in hot places.  It wouldn’t hurt any of us to recognize this biological fact.  Right now I’m burning big chunks of stove wood, to keep warm at zero F.  We possess, each […]

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Hegemony or Survival

Ammunition against the Empire

  Need a crash course on the present state of the world?  Want to untangle the terminology, separate the victims from the victimizers, understand the dynamics of unilateralism, and deduce what can be done about it all?  I’d like to introduce you to a small literary arsenal. A good place to begin is the book […]

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